Bachelor of Health Science (Physician Assistant)

Courses Australian courses Bachelor of Health Science (Physician Assistant)

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Bachelor of Health Science (Physician Assistant)

This course is not offered in 2019.

If you are an experienced healthcare professional, the Bachelor of Health Science (Physician Assistant) course will provide you with the education to work in a team-based practice model.

Physician Assistants (PAs) have the knowledge and skills to extend the medical services of doctors under their supervision.

In this undergraduate course, you will receive a diverse and holistic learning experience. You will learn from specialist academic staff, JCU's overseas trained physician assistant educators, doctors, researchers, science teachers and nurses.

Campus
Townsville
Start dates
February
Duration
3 years full-time
Part time available
Study mode
Limited
Prerequisites
Certificate IV or higher health-related qualification plus minimum 2 years full-time (or equivalent part-time) relevant work experience.
OP/Rank
Special Entry Requirements
See how to apply

Career opportunities

If you have the appropriate entry qualifications, you could become part of this pioneering and valuable profession. Physician Assistants (or Physician Associates) are widely recognised and are utilised in the USA, Canada, UK, The Netherlands, South Africa, New Zealand, Germany, India, Middle East, and in various Asian countries.

The interdependent relationship between the Physician Assistant and their medical supervisor is considered a defining feature of the profession, and distinguishes it from other healthcare roles. Physician Assistants are trained to perform many of the tasks previously performed solely by medical practitioners, including history taking, physical examination, diagnosis, and treatment.

Course highlights

You will benefit from:

  • Learning skills that have the potential to be of significant benefit to rural, remote and Indigenous communities in Australia and internationally.
  • Participating in progressive clinical placements during the first two years of your studies in general practice, emergency departments and hospital wards.
  • Building networks and collaborating with fellow students during the course's eight residential intensive study blocks at JCU's Townsville campus.
  • Flexible study options, with the majority of the curriculum being delivered externally/online.

Course overview

This three-year full-time JCU course (part-time study available in your final year) requires you to hold health related qualification with a minimum of Certificate IV (AQF level 4), or other qualification as approved by the Dean of the College of Medicine and Dentistry. You'll also need to have a minimum of two years full-time (or equivalent part-time) work experience in a health-related setting.

The first two years of the course are delivered via distance education; however, you'll be required to attend six on-campus residential blocks at the Townsville campus throughout this time. The final year of this course is a full year of clinical placements initiated with a clinical placement preparation week. The clinical component of the course can be undertaken full-time (one year) or part-time (over two years).

Among the topic areas you'll study are:

  • Basic medical sciences, pathophysiology and clinical medicine
  • Health promotion and disease prevention across the age spectrum
  • How to access and interpret evidence-based medical information and incorporate it into clinical practice
  • Integration and application of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to provide patient care in a supervised, delegated team model with a medical practitioner
  • Practising culturally and contextually appropriate health care for rural, remote, tropical and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations
  • Techniques in patient interviewing and record documentation
  • Diagnostic skills including history taking, physical examination, clinical investigation interpretation, clinical procedures and patient management
  • Applying the principles of ethical, professional and legal practice within a supervised, delegated, multidisciplinary team model.

Professional Recognition

Graduates may apply for membership of the Australian Society of Physician Assistants (ASPA).

Important Requirements

Successful applicants require Hepatitis B immunisation, current Queensland First Aid and CPR certificates, a Suitability to Work with Children (Blue Card) and an Australian Federal Police check before undertaking placements. It is recommended that you complete these requirements by the end of your first semester/teaching period. For details, see:

Blue Card Services

Australian Federal Police

How to apply

Check the QTAC information and apply by clicking on the relevant link below depending on where you wish to study.

Take note of the QTAC code for this course in the location you've chosen because you'll need to enter it as part of your QTAC application.

Townsville (317145) - Apply now

OP Score/Rank is indicative only. Entry scores will be finalised in the major offer round.

This course is not offered in 2019.

You must have a minimum of Certificate IV (AQF level 4) health qualification or other qualification as approved by the Dean, College of Medicine and Dentistry, plus a minimum of 2 years full-time (or equivalent part-time) work experience in a health-related setting.

Applicants will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Academic performance in Year 12 studies or in subsequent tertiary studies,
  • Written component of the application form, and
  • Demonstration at an interview of attributes suited to a career as a Physician Assistant.

Candidates will be selected for interview on the basis of their written application and academic results. Applicants will be selected for entry into the course based on their performance at interview, written application and their academic results.

Queensland Health requires all health care worker students be immunised against Hepatitis B prior to their first clinical placement.

Admission requirements are subject to final approval.

Pathway into course

Students are encouraged to undertake the Tertiary Access Course if they have not studied recently and/or want assistance making the transition to University studies.

Get prepared – bridging subjects

Bridging subjects are designed to fill any gaps in your knowledge. We offer maths and chemistry bridging subjects that can be studied on-campus in Cairns and Townsville. You may need to enrol in a bridging subject if you have not achieved the grade of ‘Sound Achievement or better’ in Queensland Year 12 maths or chemistry.

Handbook

Bachelor of Health Science (Physician Assistant)

Handbook Year2017

Course code

102010

Course type

Bachelor Degree (AQF Level 7)

Division

Tropical Health and Medicine

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

Health related qualification with a minimum of Certificate IV (AQF level 4) or other qualification as approved by the College Dean.

A minimum of 2 years full time (or equivalent part time) work experience in a health related setting

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 3a Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Additional selection requirements

Submit JCU internal application form by 31 October. Interview (by invitation).

Post admission requirements

Immunisations:

Students must provide evidence of being immune to hepatitis B and that they have been vaccinated or evidence that they are not susceptible for the vaccine preventable diseases (VPD) of Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR); Varicella and Pertussis. Professional experience placement is a requirement of this course and students may be engaged in roles where there is contact that would allow transmission of a VPD. Students are required to comply with the above requirement prior to commencing their first Professional Experience Placement or by the end of the first teaching period of their studies, otherwise their enrolment will be terminated.

Clinical placement/professional practice:

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements. Students may be required to undertake such placements away from the campus at which they are enrolled, at their own expense. (Note: health professional courses generally involve extensive professional or clinical placements).

Further information about placements can be found at:

Enrolment Policy – Coursework Students

Suitability to Work with Children Card (blue card):

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements that may involve contact with children under 18 years of age. Students are required to obtain a Suitability to Work with Children Card (which involves a criminal history check undertaken by the Queensland Police) before the start of the first placement. Students must retain a current Suitability to Work with Children Card for the duration of their course, as failure to do so will result in the termination of their admission to the course.

For more information, refer to:

Blue Card Services

Current Apply First Aid and CPR certificate:

Students must hold a current First Aid Certificate before undertaking professional or clinical placements. Students are responsible for any costs associated with obtaining this certificate.

Some professional/clinical placement agencies may require that students hold an advanced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certificate before undertaking a professional or clinical placement. Students are responsible for any costs associated with obtaining this certificate.

Australian Federal Police check:

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements.  Some placement agencies may require students to produce a current Australian Federal Police check. This is in addition to the requirements for a Blue Card. If requested, students must provide written confirmation of clearance to the Clinical Placement Officer prior to commencement of clinical placement.

Application documents can be accessed at:

Australian Federal Police

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

72 credit points

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course, the graduate will be able to:

  • Integrate and apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to provide patient care in a supervised, delegated team model with a medical practitioner

  • Practise culturally and contextually appropriate health care for rural, remote, tropical and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations

  • Demonstrate a community health orientation and ability to operate effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team to achieve improved health care outcomes, particularly in under-served populations

  • Display an understanding of and an ability to operate within the health care systems in the community, rural communities and institutions in the public and private sectors

  • Identify a scope of practice consistent with their level of experience and delegation and demonstrate appropriate self-care and self-evaluation

  • Model effective teamwork, in multidisciplinary environments, to exemplify a collaborative approach to patient care, self-directing learning and professional education

  • Demonstrate and apply literacy, numeracy and communication skills appropriate to professional practice.  Interpret and apply contextually appropriate scientific knowledge in delegated clinical decision making

  • Demonstrate and apply the principles of ethical, professional and legal dimensions of practice within a supervised, delegated, multidisciplinary team model.

Course Structure

CORE SUBJECTS

Level 1

Teaching Period 1:

MX1010:12 Introduction to Physician Assistant Studies 1

Teaching Period 2:

MX1020:12 Introduction to Physician Assistant Studies 2

Level 2

Teaching Period 1:

MX2001:12 Integrated Physician Assistant Studies Part 1 of 2

Teaching Period 2:

MX2002:12 Integrated Physician Assistant Studies Part 2 of 2

Level 3

Full Time – One Year

Teaching Period 1:

MX3001:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies F/T Part 1 of 3

MX3002:09 Applied Physician Assistant Studies F/T Part 2 of 3

Teaching Period 2:

MX3003:12 Applied Physician Assistant Studies F/T Part 3 of 3

Part Time – Two Years

CLINICAL PHASE ONE:

Teaching Period 1:

MX3011:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 1 Part 1 of 4

MX3012:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 1 Part 2 of 4

Teaching Period 2:

MX3013:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 1 Part 3 of 4

MX3014:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 1 Part 4 of 4

CLINICAL PHASE TWO:

Teaching Period 1:

MX3015:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 2 Part 1 of 4

MX3016:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 2 Part 2 of 4

Teaching Period 2:

MX3017:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 2 Part 3 of 4

MX3018:03 Applied Physician Assistant Studies P/T Year 2 Part 4 of 4

Campus

COURSE AVAILABLE AT

NOTES

Townsville

 

Candidature

Expected time to complete

3 years full-time, 4 years part-time (only third year available part-time)

Maximum time to complete

5 years

Maximum leave of absence

1 year

Progression

Course progression requisites

A student may not, except with the approval of the Division Deputy Vice Chancellor, enrol for any level 2 subjects until 24 credit points of level 1 subjects have been obtained.

A student may not, except with the approval of the Division Deputy Vice Chancellor, enrol for any level 3 subjects until 24 credit points of level 2 subjects have been obtained.

A student may not, except with the approval of the Division Deputy Vice Chancellor, enrol for any Clinical Phase 2 subjects until they have completed the requirements of the Clinical Phase 1 subjects.

Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)

Clinical placement/professional practice:

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements. Students may be required to undertake such placements away from the campus at which they are enrolled, at their own expense. (Note: health professional courses generally involve extensive professional or clinical placements).

Further information about placements can be found at:

Enrolment Policy – Coursework Students

Special assessment requirements

Students who fail a mandatory assessment in any subject will be required to undertake further directed learning and complete a supplementary piece of assessment in that subject.

Students who fail a supplementary piece of assessment will be required to repeat the relevant year of study.

Accreditation requirements

Not applicable

Maximum allowed Pass Conceded (PC) grade

Nil

Supplementary exam for final subject

Supplementary examinations are available, subject to current College and Division policies.

Advanced Standing

Eligibility

Not eligible

Maximum allowed

Nil

Currency

Not applicable

Expiry

Not applicable

Other restrictions

Not applicable

Award Details

Award title

BACHELOR OF HEALTH SCIENCE (PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT)

Approved abbreviation

BHlthSc(PhysicianAssistant)

This is a joint degree

No

Inclusion of majors on testamur

Not applicable - this course does not have majors

Exit with lesser award

Not applicable

Course articulation

Not applicable

Honours

Honours availability

Not available

Eligibility

Not available

This website is intended as general guide. Prospective students should contact the university to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses. James Cook University reserves the right to alter any course or admission requirement without prior notice.